Tuesday, September 26, 2006

ACFW Conference Reports from CSFers

No one I knew did live-blogging, but some attendees of the ACFW annual conference have now posted. A few have things of interest to report for those of you writing CBA-targeted Christian SF/F. (And no, it's not particularly cheering.)

Becky Miller wrote on her blog that "we SFF writers heard more than our share of no’s. Nevertheless, I see some signs pointed in the right direction and think it’s important to build on those." She then proceeds to outline how we can take action, particularly via the CSFF blog tour. Ahe's also posted at SPECULATIVE FAITH:
Zondervan has hired a new editor, Andy Meisenheimer, who does not hide his own love of fantasy. He and some of the other younger members of the editorial community who also personally like fantasy serve as examples of one of the things I believe and have mentioned in my "Fantasy and a Christian Worldview" series: the twenty-something readers (and to a lesser extent the thirty-something readers) are hungry for SFF, and Christians are hungry for CSFF. In my opinion, this trend will only increase since a good many of these readers cut their reading teeth on Harry Potter.

Stuart Stockton has also posted on the conference at SPECULATIVE FAITH:
John Olson also taught two excellent workshops, the first was on Thrillers, though the basic principles of the session can be applied to any genre as needed. The second was on Writing science fiction and fantasy, or more appropriately, figuring out how to SELL science fiction and fantasy in the CBA market. As he said a few times throughout the conference, "Nobody is actively looking for fantasy, but they are acquiring it."

Shannon McNear is particularly moving as she openly and poetically writes about her emotions post-conference:
I weep intermittently, mourning the door You have closed to me. But what did I think I wanted? Being published? And why? Notoriety, approval, validation? I am already known--and loved--oh, Lord, you have made me loved--and given me those who love my writing--and opened other doors to me. What is it I lack?

A very different tone--humorous, playful--is taken by Beth Goddard at her blog, Writing With Fire:
I came away from the conference with two great ideas on how to make editors notice:

1) Change my last name from Goddard to Goddess (per Randy Ingermanson)
2) Write a scary vampire story (John Olson) Bad press is better than no press.

If anyone comes across any pertinent post-conference blog posts relating to the SF/F genre (or any really good stuff on other genres), please drop me a comment. I couldn't go, so I gotta get my fix vicariously.


Anonymous said...

I second that request. (I feel like one of those poor kids who had to stay in at recess. Wait a sec, I *was* one of those kids as a kid, too!)

Lynette Sowell said...

Congratulations on winning the SF/F category! As last year's winner (was Noble Theme), I pass the virtual torch to you and the rest of the gang. I entered not because I thought I'd win, but because I believe in the genre and believe it deserves a place of recognition in Christian fiction. :)

In every genre, we must push for excellence and continue to learn and not 'settle.' Congratulations again!

Valerie Comer said...

Congrats on the win, Mir! Sorry, I'm a little slow on the uptake...

Mirtika said...

Thank you, Lynette. I'll try to keep the torch bright for the year until the next person gets it. :D

Valerie, I thank you for the congrats. Slow is okey doke with me. :D


Heather said...

I have to admit, I never thought of myself as a sci-fi type. Never got into the whole star trek thing. But I grew up on Star Wars, Narnia, and the Wrinkle in Time series. Fantasy, I love. And some sci-fi, my husband is sucking me into, like the new Eureka show on the sci-fi channel, or Lost. And Harry Potter, I won't be able to sit still until the last one comes out. I'm a twenty-something (won't be able to call myself that for very much longer), and yes, I find I love the fantasy category. That is my testimony. Use it as you will. ;)

Heather said...

Addition: for me, I need some realm of reality. The real world England in Narnia, the sheriff in Eureka. Keeps me grounded. If someone else is skeptical about the whole thing, I feel free to believe.